DPWH Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut
DPWH Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut

MANILA — The World Bank, which is assisting the Philippine government in financing the improvement of 23.72 kilometers of secondary national roads in the Cagayan Valley Region under the National Roads Improvement and Management Program Phase II, gave its nod for the implementation of a resettlement action plan (RAP) of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

In a letter to DPWH Undersecretary Rafael C. Yabut, who is in charge of foreign-assisted projects, World Bank Senior Transport Specialist and Philippines’ Task Team Leader Siele Silue expressed support for the implementation of the RAP for the Magapit–Sta. Ana Road, Magapit–Mission Junction Section in Cagayan Province and recommended the disclosure of the plan for general information purposes.

The improvement of the Magapit–Sta. Ana Road, Magapit–Mission Junction Section, which was awarded to Hunan Road and Bridge Corp. at a contract cost of P383.327 million after an international competitive bidding, aims to promote an inter-regional linkage between Ilocos Region and Cagayan Valley Region.

The project, which involves gravel to concrete paving with a carriageway width of 6.7 meters and 1.5-meter gravel shoulders, and improvement of existing seven bridges with an aggregate length of 246.120 lineal meters, will improve accessibility and change the transportation environment alongside the project area as it will function as a support infrastructure facility for the airports located in Dagupan, Lal-lo and the Cagayan Export Processing Zone Authority located in Sta. Ana, Cagayan.

In addition, a two-kilometer access from the main Magapit–Sta. Ana Road will be constructed to connect with the indigenous people community of Agta located in Golden Valley, Barangay San Mariano, Lal-lo.

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The concreting of the access road was requested by the indigenous people during a socioeconomic survey and inventory of affected properties in February 2008, and it was considered by the bank for implementation.

Validation of the RAP for the affected properties was conducted in July 2011. However, this was further revalidated by representatives of the Municipal RAP Implementation Committee, DPWH Environmental and Social Services Office, and Cagayan 1st District Engineering Office on May 2012.

The revalidation was carried out utilizing the plans approved by the DPWH Bureau of Design with the cross sections prepared by the consultants as framework of reference in setting the construction limits. The survey was carried out, using the 14- to 20-meter limits on flat and on rolling terrain, respectively.

Of the 264 project-affected families identified during the socioeconomic/inventory survey in 2008, only 110 families were considered during the revalidation due to the reduction of construction limits.